The first time I watched Inuyasha was on Cartoon Network. And from the very beginning, I was captivated by this dark anime that was wrapped up in a beautiful love story. Two people fall in love in feudal Japan, and both believe to be betrayed by the other.
I’m talking about Inuyasha and Kikyo.
During their battle for the Shikon Jewel Inuyasha is penned to a tree by one of Kikyo’s sacred arrows, and Kikyo is so badly hurt that she dies, burying the magical Shikon Jewel with her.
Flash forward to modern day Japan and we see 15-year-old Kagome Higurashi being pulled into a well in her family’s shrine by a centipede monster. The monster swipes at Kagome, cutting her open, and the magic jewel that was buried with Kikyo so many years before, appears.
I get chills just typing that! Through the well, Kagome is transported to feudal Japan where she meets Inuyasha, the half-demon. He saves her, kind of, and we see that he really is dangerous, and we wonder, maybe he really did attack Kikyo?
The Truth Revealed
But of course, he didn’t. On accident, Kagome shatters the Shikon Jewel and her an Inuyasha set off to collect all of the shards. Inuyasha wants the shards so that he can become a full demon. Kagome can sense the power of the jewel shards so naturally she tags along.
We learn that all those years ago, neither Inuyasha nor Kikyo really betrayed each other. Rather it was Naraku, a man who gave himself over to the demons, who transformed into each of them and initiated the fighting between them.
Naraku also wants the jewel shards and will do anything to get them.
Another unexpected element is Lord Sesshomaru, Inuyasha’s older, half-brother, who is a full demon. He hates Inuyasha and sees him as a disgrace. The two battle for their father’s legendary sword the Tessaiga, but it’s Inuyasha who wins it through his desire to protect Kagome. In your face, Sesshomaru!
Friends Make the Journey Fun
The anime itself is very dark, and since the setting is feudal Japan it makes a lot of it seem commonplace since this was a dark time.
Along their journey, Inuyasha and Kagome meet friends who join them like Shippo the fox demon, Miroku the lecherous priest, and Sango and Kirara who are both strong fighters.
Each character has a unique backstory, and their interactions make light of a dark situation and sinister plot lines. By far the saddest story for me is Sango’s.
Her family was slaughtered before her by her own younger brother, and Naraku continues to manipulate the poor boy throughout the series.
Every time Inuyasha encounters a stronger villain, he gains power with his Tessaiga, which is really freaking cool. And the love triangle between Inuyasha, Kagome, and the back-from-the-dead Kikyo keeps you on edge.
Inuyasha and Kagome are always fighting but it’s clear they love each other. Nothing can stop them from being apart, not time and not even Kikyo.
As a kid, this anime really got to me, and it has stuck with me. I have probably watched it at least three times. Seriously, it’s so good.